A Snapshot of SYC
28 May 2019
Every year at SYC we positively affect the lives of tens of thousands of Australians. In 2018, the number of people who accessed our services was greater than the capacity of Adelaide Oval.
It was also the year we celebrated our 60th year of delivering services to Australians in need. For three generations we have positively affected the lives of families, individuals and communities, helping them to change for the better.
At SYC, we believe that when an individual has the skills to gain and sustain work, a safe place to call home, and positive emotional wellbeing and resilience then their chances of living an independent and prosperous life are greatly improved.
To capture our success in achieving this goal we created a snapshot so our supporters and stakeholders can see the impact we have achieved for the people we work with.
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Our Definition of Success
While we strive to offer our services to the greatest number of people possible this is not the metric we use to gauge our impact or success. Instead, when our activities and services contribute to the achievement of positive life outcomes that place our clients onto a pathway to independence and prosperity, then we feel that SYC has been successful.
Those outcomes include:
- placing people into long-term/sustainable jobs that help them exit welfare (6,810 times);
- accessing, maintaining or addressing barriers to accommodation to remove the risk of homelessness (4,393 times);
- gaining the skills and qualifications necessary to secure work or better paying work (2,482 times) and;
- developing an understanding of the benefits of positive wellbeing and resilience in reducing the barriers to attending education, gaining employment or housing and assist people to improve their wellbeing.
But why do we measure these particular outcomes and how do they help us demonstrate that we are positively affecting the lives of people in need? Well, our experience and research tell us that these outcomes are positive indicators that long-term, fundamental change is likely to occur. For example:
- When someone maintains the same job for 6 months, they are likely to keep that job and exit welfare;
- We know that achieving higher levels of education and training qualifications, particularly completing high school versus not completing high school and Certificate III/IV over high school, leads to higher long-term earning capacity and likelihood of being in employment.
- We know that when people are more resilient they are better equipped to deal with challenges and setbacks in their life, which is important for maintaining the other outcomes in work, learning, and home.
- Finally, we know that there are significant blockages in the homelessness sector that make it difficult for people to successfully transition out of homelessness so it is important to understand how successful we are and where people are being let down.
The Value of Our Impact
If an outcome is a positive indicator of future change, then the impact is the realisation of that change in a person’s life, family or community.
Due to the varied, long-term and sometimes intangible nature of the impacts we produce, we’ve begun measuring this with a forecast economic impact model. For instance, when we can reduce the likelihood that a participant in our justice programs will re-offend and instead connect them to employment or education, we can place a monetary value on the effect of those outcomes, with the help of government data and academic research. This is based on the value of reducing service use today, improving personal capacity, and the future savings that our work generates by achieving lasting impact.
We think this represents an outstanding return on the investment provided to SYC and demonstrates that we can create a level of impact that is far greater and longer lasting than the funding provided.
We look forward to continuing to refine our outcomes and impact measurement so we can share the future successes of SYC in delivering value not only in economic terms, but to the lives of Australians in need.